November 2013 Recipes and News
Table of Contents
1. Gold and Silver, by Maxine Brown
2. The Browns Appear Live on the Eddie Stubbs Show, by Randy Francis
3. The Bus, by Maxine Brown
4. Fall Recipes
Gold and Silver
by Maxine Brown
A dream came true on August 3, 1963 when then Grand Ole Opry manager, Ott Divine invited The Browns to become Opry members. Little did we ever dream that we would be celebrating a golden anniversary with our brother Jim Ed.
In 1967, Bonnie and I more or less retired because of family ties which limited our Opry appearances. Jim Ed remained with the Opry and became a legend on his own merits. Bonnie and I made several guest appearances during the past fifty years–here we were, still living with a touch of silver now in our hair, celebrating Jim Ed’s golden anniversary on stage of the greatest show in the world, the Grand Ole Opry.
Before the first show began, we arrived early so we could visit with a host of friends who had come by to share this historic event. Jim Ed hosted one of the best parties you can ever imagine in the backstage Hostess room with many different kinds of foods, and drinks. The room was jam-packed. Bonnie and I were thrilled we got to see so many of our old friends again.
During the first performance, he was presented with awards from many influential people; The Tennessee State Legislature, Gaylord and Grand Ole Opry manager, Pete Fisher who presented him with a gold diamond watch. (Bonnie and I were thinking the same thing–why did we ever leave?)
I had many obstacles in the past few years…hip surgery which never healed; two brain aneurysm’s which damaged my vocal cords due to the nineteen hours on the operating table. Therefore, I was afraid to try singing with Bonnie and Jim Ed. Thanks to Pete Fisher for finding me a wheel chair and providing an escort through those crowded hall ways to the Opry stage. In spite of these obstacles, there was no way I was going to miss this prestigious event. Thanks to Jim Ed for sending his bus to pick up Bonnie and myself so we could be comfortable on the trip to Music City.
After the second show, we rushed to the Ernest Tubb Theater for the Midnight Jamboree. The place was packed with fans from all over the country, standing room only and some were not able to get inside the door. David McCormick, CEO of the record shop was gracious as always. He escorted Bonnie and I to the front row. Later in the show, Jim Ed left the stage and joined Bonnie and I on a verse and chorus of the Three Bells. David had a 303 lb. cake all decorated for the public to enjoy. I think Randy Francis got the last piece.
My den is decorated with plaques from David and the Record Shop. The last one was July, 2009 when the Browns celebrated fifty years of The Three Bells. This night he presented us with a beautiful Oak engraved Plaque, celebrating this event. I think of all The Browns awards, this one means more than any I have ever received.
I am most thankful that The Browns were all together for Jim Ed’s Golden Anniversary and able to share some Golden memories.
** Grand Ole Opry Historian writes blog post relating to Brown’s Opry appearance on August 10, 2013. Click Here to Read Now.
The Browns Appear Live on The Eddie Stubbs Show
By Randy Francis
On learning that all three members of the legendary Browns were planning to be together in Nashville to celebrate Jim Ed’s golden anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the also legendary radio personality Eddie Stubbs immediately arranged for a live interview appearance on his very popular Thursday
evening program broadcast from WSM studio. Stubbs has long been declaring his deep-rooted love for The Browns. In August of 2007 he invited them for a very special interview program originating from inside the hallowed walls of RCA Studio B called “An Intimate Evening with Eddie Stubbs”. It was an unforgettable evening of reminiscence and live singing from the very spot where The Browns had stood and~with producer Chet Atkins and some of the most revered studio musicians in recording history~had created so many dozens of timeless classics in the late 50s and early 60s. On that occasion The Browns and Stubbs were paid a surprise visit by some of the trio’s biggest admirers, Ricky Skaggs and the Whites! This invitation by Eddie, on Thursday August 8, 2013, was well-announced and quite an event. It was to be transmitted to all parts of the world via WSM Online!
I was very excited as I tuned in a few minutes before 7PM on my computer, turned off the TV set and put my feet up in the recliner next to my mom, also a great fan of the Browns’ music. Eddie announced several times that Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie were expected to be walking through the doors at just any moment, urging the radio audience to stay tuned for what promised to be a very special evening. About 45 minutes into the show Eddie played The Browns’ classic 1956 RCA Victor record “I’m in Heaven” and I smiled because that was the cue that The Browns had arrived! Immediately after introducing the guests of honor, Eddie was quick to point out that he chose that particular song because that was how he felt in the presence of The Browns…in Heaven! The on-air visit yielded some truly fascinating dialogue with stories, off-the-cuff humor, memories of their years on the Opry, reflections on the Browns’ close associations with people like Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins and others, and some very interesting points of view about the nature of The Browns’ unique harmony. Eddie gave a first-hand account of a portion of the last known interview of Chet Atkins, taking place only months before his death, which he felt so privileged to have conducted. Stubbs revealed to The Browns that he had asked the great Atkins if he had any favorites from among the many hundreds of great artists he had worked with and produced throughout his long career. “Without hesitation…” said Stubbs,”he answered Jim Reeves and The Browns.” He added that it was because of “the great talent, great song selections and such timeless arrangements.” I think The Browns had been told of these words by their beloved mentor before this, but this lifelong fan (yours truly) had not and to hear Eddie make this statement so affirmatively was simply thrilling to me!
Throughout the interview Eddie played many of The Browns’ most eternal classics…”Here Today and Gone Tomorrow”, “I Take the Chance”, “Beyond the Shadow”, “The Three Bells”, “Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)”, “The Old Lamplighter”, and a very special vintage live performance, dated April 1964 from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, of The Browns presenting their newest hit single “Then I’ll Stop Loving You”. It was wonderful to hear Eddie state that this classic, from the pen of Gentleman Jim Reeves, as recorded “spectacularly” by the Browns, was one of his top personal favorites…because i too have always been highly partial to that recording!
With thoughtfulness toward Maxine and Bonnie, who had just arrived in town after a 12-hour bus ride, I think The Browns’ portion of the show that evening was supposed to last for a one-hour segment only, but the interview was progressing so fantastically well with such fascinating discussions between the four of them that it kept getting extended until they realized it had been going for 2 hours and 20 minutes! I’m sure that most of The Browns’ die-hard fans from around the world who were listening in could tell that Maxine and Bonnie were quite tired…but at the same time very mellow and, no doubt, thrilled to be where they were! I think for several reasons, this interview was probably the best and most definitive interview that the three Browns together have ever given!
Those of you who missed it will be happy to know that it is currently archived at WSM Online, The Eddie Stubbs Show. You will find a link taking you to the list of archived shows just below!
By Maxine Brown
When I reflect on our trip to Nashville for Jim Ed’s golden anniversary on the Grand Ole Opry, the words from his newest hit single come to mind. “I’d Like To Be In Style Again”….that’s how Bonnie and I felt when our brother sent his million dollar bus to pick us up from our respective homes and bring us back to Music City to enjoy the weekend of celebrating in high style! The three of us became members of the Opry cast on August 10, 1963 realizing a life-long dream. We enjoyed some wonderful years performing on that stage before Bonnie and I decided to retire to stay home and raise our children. Brother Jim Ed remained with the Opry and over the decades since he has become a legend on his own merits and we are very proud of him!! At age 79, he is still the best singer on the Opry, has a smash hit single and is still entertaining crowds traveling in his unbelievable luxury coach! I thought of those early years when the three of us were on the road, pioneering this business traveling in my 1954 yellow Chevrolet. If The Browns had been afforded this kind of luxury back in our day, perhaps we would still be in the business.
Jim Ed’s driver, a handsome young man named Bo Harlan, first stopped in Dardanelle to pick up Bonnie and Brownie and some close friends of theirs before coming to North Little Rock to pick up me and my granddaughter and one of her close friends. None of us had ever seen such a glamorous travel coach as this and as soon as we boarded we knew we were traveling in style. Bonnie and her friends had prepared all kinds of treats for the trip…gourmet sandwiches, cheese dips, southern friend chicken, you name it, we had it. We had it all including several bottles of cold champagne!! The ride to Nashville was great fun, riding in comfort, and thoroughly enjoying each others company.
After the excitement of the weekend events was all over the trip coming back home was anything but glamorous. Just after boarding, the generator blew. Jim Ed had Bo drive to Truckers Paradise on Interstate 40 and wait for a mechanic. After three hours of waiting, he finally showed up but brought the wrong part. Brownie said “Lets get this show on the road, this thing may never get fixed”. Mind you, it was 102 degrees in the shade and inside that bus it must have been 200. We loaded up with ice, water, drinks, cups and snacks from the truck stop. Everything left over from the trip going up had to be thrown away…all except the champagne that is!! None of the windows would open. Hot was not the word for it,we were burning up. I thought of those days on the farm when all we had to cool ourselves with was a hand held fan. I doubt if anyone has one of those nowadays and I’m sure many of you don’t know what I’m talking about, but here we were wishing we had something to fan ourselves with, and there was nothing.
We started playing strip poker. I had never won at poker, and here I was winning every hand. I never got to take off as much as a shoe. It was getting too dark to see and all the flashlight batteries went dead…what next? Mind you, we had no lights, no water, therefore no bathroom. We still had enough champagne to float a battleship. Bonnie and her friends started guzzling. The drunker they talked, the longer they got!!
Just outside of Memphis, we ran into the worst storm you can ever imagine. The dark skies and lightning inspired us to tell our favorite ghost stories. Anything to keep our mind occupied. It got to be quite scary. I wished a thousand times I had my WIDE MOUTH FRUIT JAR.
It was a happy bunch when the bus took the exit in North Little Rock, leading to my house. He stopped at the foot of my mountain at the Super-Stop Service Station. Everyone made a bee line to the rest rooms. The men’s was occupied but who cared? It was probably the first time he had ever seen so many happy women in the men’s rest room all at the same time. They breathed a sign of relief as they all boarded the bus for the 80 miles to Dardanelle to drop off Bonnie and Brownie and their friends; then another 80 miles further to Ft. Smith which was home to Bo and his mother who made the trip with us.
Jim Ed stopped by my house recently after performing a show in Northern Arkansas. He was driving his pick-em-up truck. His bus was still in the shop somewhere in Oklahoma. He said he loved his truck but anxious to get his bus fixed and once again turn the driving duties over to Bo. When I think of all the events of that unforgettable weekend in early August, I feel sure that, despite the problems, we would do it all over…..provided we could do it IN STYLE AGAIN.
Fall Recipes. Enjoy!
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE:
6 Cups cooked & mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup Sugar
1 3/4 Sticks Butter or Margarine, melted
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Evaporated Milk
1 Can Crushed Pineapple with Juice (medium size can)
1 Small container Coconut
Boil Potatoes in jackets until done. Peel & mash. Add all other ingredients. Whip until creamy. Place in buttered casserole dish & top with PECAN TOPPING:
2 Cups Pecans, chopped
1 Cup Flour
2 Cups Brown Sugar
2 Sticks Butter or Margarine, melted
Mix Pecans & Flour together: Add Sugar & melted Butter. Mix & pour on top of Sweet Potatoes. Spread evenly. Bake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees. (Note: Marshmallows is always a good topping for Sweet Potato Casserole, if desired).
CANDIED SWEET POTATOES:
Select about 3 Large SWEET POTATOES. Wash, peel & slice about l/8 inch thick. Melt l/4 cup BUTTER in heavy skillet. Sprinkle a little SALT over potatoes. Arrange in layers of SUGAR sprinkled between each layer. Cook covered, turning ever so often to brown & steam a little. When they are done, remove from skillet but keep warm. (You may wish to add a bit more butter and sugar. This is best cooked in a cast iron skillet.). If you don’t have one, any heavy duty skillet will be ok to use. You will love Sweet Potatoes cooked this way.
FRESH APPLE CAKE has been handed down through many generations of my family. Living on a farm, everyone had an apple orchard. We utilized those apples in many different recipes: pies, cakes, dumplings, jelly, apple butter, baked, and many more. Fresh Apple Cake is a favorite of my family, I hope its one of yours.
FRESH APPLE CAKE:
3 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 1/4 Cup Corn Oil
4 Cups Apples ( peeled & diced)
1 Cup Nuts, chopped (optional)
Mix all dry ingredients together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add oil, apples, & nuts (if desired). (Note: The dough will get very stiff and hard to mix with a mixer, so ‘get a little dough on your hands & dig in’. Bake in loaf pan for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. You can also use a sheet pan if desired. Cream Cheese makes a good frosting, but the Browns favorite is:
3 Cups Sugar
1 Large Can Pet Milk
1 Stick Butter or Margarine
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
Dash of Salt
Using a heavy duty sauce pan, cook sugar & pet milk together until it forms a soft ball by dropping in small amount of cold water. Stir constantly to keep from burning. When a soft ball is formed, remove from heat & add vanilla, butter & salt. Beat until it looks glossy and of right consistency to spread on cooled cake. (This takes awhile, but don’t give up, it will scorch easy so use a wooden spoon & non-stick pan.).
Wash & core APPLES. Peel down the skin from the top of each apple about one-inch. Scoop out the core. Place apple in a baking dish & fill cavities with a mixture of SUGAR & CINNAMON. Top each apple with a Teaspoon BUTTER & then fill dish with about one-half inch of water Cover dish with foil, bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until APPLES are very tender.
This is the time of year when everyone’s thoughts turn to some fall recipes.
1 1/2 Cups Oil
4 Eggs, beaten
1 Can Pumpkin (2 cups)
3 Cups Flour
3 Cups Sugar
1 3 Oz. Package (cook & serve) Coconut-Cream Pie Filling Mix: Do not prepare
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Small container Coconut (approximately One Cup)
1 Cup Chopped Nuts
Combine Oil, Eggs & Pumpkin. Beat well. In separate bowl, mix Flour, Sugar, Pie Filling Mix, Soda, Salt, Baking Powder Cinnamon, Nuts & Coconut. Add to Mixture. Mix well. This makes two loaves. Bake at 350 for one hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
1 Can Pumpkin (2 cups)
1 Can Eagle Brand Milk
1 Egg, slightly beaten
l/2 Teaspoon Salt
l/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
l/2 Teaspoon Ginger
3/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoon Butter or Margarine (melted)
Blend all ingredients together. Turn mixture into unbaked Pie Shell. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 50 to 55 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream if desired.
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